This story takes place in 2018 in Michigan.
Thirty one year old Ashley Young was described as a ray of sunshine & a positive force in the lives of those who knew her. It was said that everyone thought she was precious, especially her mom. Ashley was born in 1987 to parents Kristine Young & dad Ambrose but the two separated when Ashley was young. Ashley & Kristine were incredibly close; at age 18, a doctor told Kristine she wasn’t able to have children so Ashley was her miracle baby.
Ashley lived in Kalamazoo, MI & worked at a call center for a bank while attending school at a local community college. She previously worked at a care home, helping those with special needs. She was always a generous person, especially to her friends.
She was the type of person to help an underdog that others had given up on. 30 year old Jared Chance was the perfect example. In 2018, at the time of this story, he lived in nearby Grand Rapids, MI, a 45 minute drive from Kalamazoo. Jared was born in 1989 and was the older child of two with a younger brother, Conrad. He grew up in Holland, MI, about an hour’s drive from Kalamazoo & 35 minutes from Grand Rapids. Jared’s dad, James was a retired IL police officer & his mom was Barbara. Jared had been in trouble with the law since he was a teen.. Between 2006 and 2016, Jared had 38 run-ins with the police. There were also driving offenses and he had been in possession of illegal substances. Jared was known to many as being wild & being prone to violent outbursts but Ashley still saw the best in him until 2013. The two had no interaction between 2013 and 2017 after Jared broke into Ashley’s house, stole and sold her things.
To list some of Jared’s wrongdoings: In 2010 he was arrested for breaking into an ex-girlfriend’s house via the doggie door; no charges were filed. In 2011, Jared’s parents called the police on him after he was in a drunken rage, destroying the house. The police responded to the house twice that night and on the second visit, Jared hit the responding officer. In 2015 there was a drug related arrest, in 2016 Jared’s brother Conrad called the police after Jared threatened to put a blowtorch down his throat after Conrad stole 5# of weed from Jared. 2016 was a busy year for Jared; he was hospitalized after being found unresponsive in the family’s back yard after an OD. Only four days later, he was again hospitalized after yet another OD. A few weeks later, three men came to the house and beat the crap out of Jared in the front yard with a baseball bat; unclear exactly why, but likely drug related.
In 2017, Jared finally moved out of his parent’s Holland home & went to Grand Rapids, MI. This is about the time that Asley and Jared rekindled their friendship.
Jared told Ashley that he just couldn’t catch a break in life & she sympathized with him despite their rocky history & extended period without interaction. In November of 2018 Jared had been drinking and ended up driving his car into a ditch. Instead of calling his parents, he decided to call Ashley.
So, on Wednesday, November 28, 2018, Ashley headed to Grand Rapids to visit Jared. He lived alone in the upper floor apartment of a two story house. As she arrived, the owner of the first story apartment, Mario, greeted her & the three hung out in Jared’s apartment while Mario & Jared could smoke. From there, Jared & Ashley went to a hookah lounge & then the two were seen together at Mulligan’s Pub. From there, they went back to the hookah lounge & then CCTV footage saw Ashley at a liquor store three minutes from Jared’s apartment at 1:30am on Thursday, November 29. This would be the day Ashley was reported missing.
During this time, Ashley was in the process of moving into a new apartment and she had planned to meet her mom to co-sign the rental agreement though Ashley didn’t show up. Kristine knew that Ashley always had her phone with her so with each missed phone call, her worry grew.
Kristine knew Ashley was going to visit Jared & was not at all happy with it, knowing his history & what he had done to Ashley in 2013. Kristine called Jared and left him a message after he didn’t answer. The message said: Hello, Jared. My name is Kristine Young. I am looking for my daughter. She was last with you. Is she with you? She needs to contact me. Tell her I am going to contact the police to do a missing person.”
Jared replied to the message with a text, “OMG I literally just talked to her. She just messaged me from a friend’s phone and I told her don’t worry so she should be calling you any second.” He told Kristine that Ashley had left her phone at the bar & she had gone to pick it up before heading to meet her mom. He also gave her additional numbers to try. Jared told Kristine that Ashley had gone off with one of his friends, Dimitrius Taylor. Jared then started messaging Dimitrius: “Yooooo. Tell her u stay in Kalamazoo too. Answer you damn phone foo and tell her she just left. When Kristine contacted Dimitrius, he didn’t go along with Jared’s story & told Kristine flat out that he had never met Ashley. Despite Kristine’s threats to call the police, Dimitrius stuck to his story which was the truth. At this point Kristine called the police to file a missing person’s report.
She also started her own investigation. Kristine went to Mulligan’s Pub & asked the owner to see the surveillance footage from the night that Ashley would have been there. It showed a glimpse of Ashley and Kristine would later say she felt desperate to pull her daughter off the screen so she could keep her safe.
On December 2, days later, Jared’s downstairs neighbor, Mario & his girlfriend noticed a terrible smell coming from the basement he shared with Jared. Upon closer inspection, he was horrified to see blood leaking from something wrapped in a black tarp. He immediately called the police. According to a comment in a YouTube video I watched from someone close to the case, Mario only checked the basement after a friend of Ashley’s started looking in the trash outside & came across a saw blade.
When officers arrived & opened the tarp, they found a human torso, .22 cartridges & saw blades. Mario let the officers know that Jared owned a .22 gun & that Ashley’s car had been parked out front but was now gone. When investigators entered the home of Jared Chance, inside a cardboard box, wrapped in black garbage bags, they found two legs with no feet, two arms with no hands; these body parts sadly belonged to Ashley. They also found women’s clothing & a hoodie with blood on it. He was arrested the night of December 2nd. Ashley’s hands, head & feet were never found.
On December 1st, the day before the arrest, Jared’s parents and brother made the trip from Holland to Grand Rapids to pick Jared up. From there, they moved things from Jared’s apartment to the family Honda and then drove to where Ashley’s car was parked, picked up more things & then headed to Holland. They moved the items from the car into the family home. The next day, December 2nd/the day the torso was found, Jared’s dad James took Jared back to Grand Rapids & went to police headquarters, telling the person at the desk that they might have information on missing Ashley. They were instructed to take that information to Kalamazoo where Ashley lived & was reported missing. Police said they did try to speak with them at this time though James demanded an attorney & they were unable to talk to them. James dropped Jared off at home & he was arrested later that night after he had gone to bed.
When the Chance family home was searched in Holland, they found a bloody shower curtain and Ashley’s blood was found in their Honda and under the living room couch, a saw with Ashley’s tissue on it was found.
On the night of April 29, Jared killed Ashley & dismembered her body and then asked his parents for help. We don’t know how Ashley died other than assuming she had been shot as the .22 casings were found in the basement. Because her head has never been found, this is an assumption. They would never find out why Jared did what he did. He was given his chance to talk and responded with, “I really can’t say much, I can’t talk about it.” He was asked to give her mom, Kristine some sort of peace by finding out where the rest of Ashley was and what had happened and he only said, “I can’t do this.” He was even offered a minimum sentence & still refused. Trial started September of 2019 which only put Ashley’s family through more pain and agony. Jared was sentenced to a minimum of 100 years to a maximum of 200 years in prison. Judge Mark Trusock explained his reasons for exceeding the recommended range of 22.5-75 years provided by the sentencing guidelines, saying that the murder of and dismemberment of Ashley was “without a question” the worst murder case he had ever presided over. “You sir, are in my mind a very evil individual. You are clearly a monster without any conscience whatsoever and you are someone who is a danger to society and should never be allowed free.”
When Kristine was given the chance to address Jared, she screamed at him, telling him that she cries every day and her mind never stops. She said, “Jared Chance, I hate you and I want to rip you limb to limb.”
Jared’s dad, who is 78 and again, a retired IL police officer, lied during an investigative subpoena and helped his son hide and get rid of evidence so he was sentenced to a month in jail for being an accessory after the fact to a felony. He was cleared of one of the more serious counts of perjury as the Kent county jury was unable to reach a verdict on a second perjury count. The accessory charge he received was punishable by up to five years in prison whereas the perjury count could have had the potential for life in prison. Jared’s mom, 65 year old Barbara Chance was sentenced to 45 days in jail for perjury and for being an accessory after the fact to a felony. Their sentences were staggered and both served one year of probation. A comment on the YouTube video I listened to said it came from someone close to the case; it indicated that James served only 14 days & Barbara served only 29 days. They also said that James & Barbara were never arrested; they walked in to be booked & bonded out immediately. Because the sentencing happened in June of 2020 during COVID, it was held via video conference while Ashley Young’s family watched via video link.
During the trial, Jared’s brother Conrad was on the stand & when he was asked what his brother’s demeanor was when he called & told them about what he did, he said, “He was extremely upset, the most upset I’ve ever seen him.” James & Barbara both pleaded not guilty. Kristine was pleading for them to tell her where the rest of Ashley could be found, knowing that they know, wanting to bring her home. When James Chance was interrogated by the police in December 2018, he said Jared admitted that he had dumped parts of Ashley’s body in trash cans around Grand Rapids. Authorities said that James intentionally omitted details of where they stopped on their way to Holland when some of Ashley’s body parts were in the car. This hindered the investigation & recovery of Ashley’s remains.
No one knows why Jared did what he did. When he & Ashley were seen at Mulligan’s Pub, they said they seemed happy & were talking away.
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